When it comes to a successful business recipe, the ingredient that makes a person successful is the ability to connect with others.
Networking is one of the best ways to connect and increase “your sphere of influence,” said S. Robert August, president and founder of North Star Synergies, Inc., a national, real estate sales, marketing and training consulting firm in Centennial, Colo.
And the upcoming 2017 International Builders’ Show (IBS) in Orlando is a great place to do it. Here are six ways to get the most out of the show.
Plan ahead. Many attendees do not plan for IBS; they just show up and usually become overwhelmed. That’s especially true in the exhibit hall, which this year will feature 550,000 net square feet of exhibits and more than 1,400 manufacturers and suppliers of the latest and most in-demand products and services.
Plotting out which exhibits to visit, education programs to take advantage of and events to participate in early on can save a significant amount of time while at the show.
Check out the exhibit hall. Make sure to review the floor plan in advance. It helps to figure out where exhibits of interest are located ahead of time since the show floor is so massive. Ask around to see when key decision makers will be on hand at the booths, and read the guide to see when free or discounted products and services, giveaways or special promotions that may help your business are taking place.
Get involved. Don’t shy away from the council and committee meetings. They are a great source of information about the association and what’s going on in various segments of the home building industry.
As the industry continues to recover from the recession, NAHB needs more active participants to step up, offer feedback and be take proactive measures to move the ball forward. Member input helps association leaders choose the best programs and services for members today and in the future.
Take advantage of the education programs. There are dozens of continuing education opportunities to be found at IBS. This year, 80% of the content will be fresh, original programming, and nearly half of the speakers will be presenting at IBS for the first time.
More than 130 Building Knowledge & Spotlight sessions–a mix of 30-, 60- and 90-minute presentations that cover the entire scope of the building industry–will be available over the three-day period. There will also be five in-depth, Advanced Master sessions on topics like negotiating techniques, labor shortage and leadership, and Builder Clinic sessions that offer live demonstrations of various building techniques.
Sit in on the award programs. Most of the awards ceremonies are open to all members. Sitting in the audience is a great way to meet and network with accomplished industry professionals.
Network, network, network. Introduce yourself often, greeting each person with a firm handshake, a warm friendly smile, eye contact and your business card. Expanding your business network at committee and council meetings, and education sessions, and other events and activities could lead to many new friendships, mentorships and business development opportunities. Don’t forget to follow up with individuals post-show and keep in touch.
Preparing for IBS in advance will help you enjoy continued and new business development opportunities. And don’t forget to register!